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December 14, 2013

SOCIAL SECURITY: Avoid winter’s perils by going online for SS business

TERRE HAUTE — Although it seems to have come a bit early this year, Old Man Winter officially arrives Dec. 21. For much of the United States and especially those who reside in the Wabash Valley, that can mean the possibility of temperatures below freezing and winter storms. So isn’t it nice to know that in the 21st century you can take care of most necessary business online – including Social Security.

Just go to www.socialsecurity

.gov. Here, you can handle much of your Social Security business quickly and securely from your home or office computer, or your tablet. At the Social Security website you can:

• Create a my Social Security account for quick access to your information;

• Get an instant, personalized estimate of your future Social Security benefits;

• Apply for retirement, disability, spouse’s, and Medicare benefits;

• Check the status of your benefit application;

• Change your address and phone number, if you receive monthly Social Security benefits;

• Sign-up for direct deposit of Social Security benefits;

• Use our benefit planners to help you better understand your Social Security options as you plan for your financial future;

• Request a replacement Medicare card; and

• Apply for Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug costs.

 Looking for more Social Security information? Go online to find out almost anything you need to know about the Social Security program. Information is available on subjects ranging from how to get a Social Security number for a new born to returning to work while receiving disability benefits.

 If you need to reach us by phone, you can call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. We can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday. We can provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day. You can use our automated response system to tell us a new address or request a replacement Medicare card. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call our TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.

No matter how you choose to contact us, Social Security is here to assist you. We encourage you to give our website a try. You’ll get fast, convenient service by going to www.socialsecurity.gov.

Brian L. Hewitt is district manager of the Social Security Administration office at 222 Cherry St.

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